My weekly goal of having a meal plan and groceries purchased on the weekend was almost not met today. Got home from volleyball at 3:30, nursed baby, had a shower, thought about what I wanted to eat this week, drew a blank (which is a rarity), visited with my husband and mother-in-law, and then realized that it was 5:15, I had to get groceries still, and Safeway closes at 6PM. Not to mention dinner for tonight.
Quick rethink--asked the in-laws to stay for dinner, called the Mandarin Chinese restaurant (our top pick in Saskatoon for Chinese food), made an order for pick-up, grabbed my grocery list and ran out the door. I made it home to a hungry family at 6:45, with the big bag of Chinese delicacies in tow. I had switched up our usual order this time around, in an effort to get more vegetables in the mix. My only complaint (and the complaint I hear most often from my vegetarian friends) about the Mandarin is that it's hard to get a lot of vegetables with your meal, and their all-veggie options are limited. I opted for veggies by ordering meat dishes with veggies. I found the prawns with Chinese greens to be an excellent option, with gorgeous little mini-bok choys nestled in amongst the shrimp. We also went for beef with Chinese broccoli, which is really mostly Chinese broccoli. By the way, when I mentioned ordering Chinese food, our two and a half year old started babbling on about having Chinese broccoli. He was most excited at the prospect. Very gratifying! We rounded off our meal with wonton soup, bbq pork chow mein (my mother-in-law's favourite), and my favourite, chow fun—wide rice noodles.
Now I have an extra meal to use up this week, since I made my grocery list before I decided to order takeout, and didn't make the connection until after I'd made my purchases. I'm sure the extra dish will get made somewhere...
Meal Plan, Week of January 9
Mixed vegetable soup, made with my homemade Chinese stock (made from pork, chicken, green onions and sherry) [this is the meal that didn't get made, but I bought the groceries for]
I've got a plan for lasagne, because when I asked my husband what he wanted this week, that's what he came up with. Poor guy. He would be happy with variations on ground beef every day, and I insist on using cuts like chops and steaks. I don't have a recipe selected for lasagne yet, but it will use a bag of frozen tomatoes I have in my freezer, and I've got whole wheat noodles, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan ready to contribute to the final product. More on that later.
Addictive sweet potato burritos — a vegetarian family favourite.
Currently planned for leftovers, since we'll probably have some. This might be where the additional meal gets fit in...
Lemon almond pork chops from The Canadian Living Cookbook
Brown rice, broccoli
Anise-scented poached chicken with squash from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook
One last note on my shopping trip today—the state of the grocery store was a stark reminder of our food systems and how fragile they are. The produce section was noticeably bare, and I realized it's because there are major storms in Alberta and the Trans-Canada Highway is closed. Two days of stormy weather and our food supply gets sketchy. Kind of makes you think, doesn't it?